Iranian Hackers Launch Renewed Attack on Albania

  • Iranian hackers have been blamed for launching further cyber-attacks on the Albanian authorities, this time taking border control systems offline.

    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office tweeted over the weekend that the attacks hit the Total Information Management System (TIMS), which helps to track individuals coming in and out of the country.

    “Another cyber-attack by the same aggressors, already exposed and condemned by Albania’s friendly and allied countries, was recorded last night on the TIMS system,” it read. “Meanwhile, we continue to work around the clock with our allies to make our digital systems impenetrable.”

    The news followed a decision by Tirana last week to cut all diplomatic ties with Iran following a July 15 ransomware attack that took multiple government services offline.

    Albania had worked closely with Microsoft and the FBI on attribution, to be sure the act was one of state aggression.

    The NATO member state has been a long-time foe of Iran’s, sheltering thousands of members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK). The July attack came just ahead of a planned Free Iran World Summit to be held in Albania.

    The US Treasury sanctioned Iran’s intelligence ministry for allegedly carrying out the July hack, but it is unclear what further actions might follow this latest incident.

    Julia O’Toole, CEO of MyCena Security Solutions, said the latest attacks had shown the far-reaching physical-world impact of digital attacks. The focus for cybersecurity should be on prevention rather than remediation, she added.

    “One way to prevent those attacks is take back control of network access through the implementation of access encryption and segmentation,” O’Toole argued.

    “We all know that credentials offer criminals the keys to the digital kingdom, but if organizations encrypt their access, their credentials cannot be stolen or phished since their employees do not know them.”